Sean Connery’s death presented Donald Trump with an opportunity to expose two of his most important and disturbing character flaws in a single tweet. Trump claimed that Connery once helped him with a “big development in Scotland.” That turned out to be a lie. Trump is a liar and he lies all the time. That’s character flaw number one.
Character flaw number two is Trump had to make Connery’s death all about himself. In a way, that’s the biggest, scariest flaw of all of Trump’s many flaws. It reveals that even when someone dies Trump needs to steal a piece of them on their way to the graveyard, steal it and ultimately make it all about himself.
In fact, in her book “Too Much and Never Enough,” by Donald Trump’s niece Mary L Trump, she recalls the time when Donald Trump was called upon to give his father’s eulogy. In very short order Donald stopped talking about his father Fred and started talking about himself. The “eulogy” turned into a self-congratulatory marathon extolling how great he, Donald, is, and how brilliant he, Donald, is. Fred got lost and left behind.
Now, I address this little composition of mine to the Undecided Voter, and if that’s you, you may be wondering what these character flaws have to do with Trump’s performance as president of the United States. I’m hoping to convince you they have everything to do with Trump’s performance as president of the United States, and here’s why.
Trump’s lying and his driving need to make everything about himself are two character flaws I know a little something about. They’re warning signs of a disorder called Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I’ve had the misfortune of being intimately involved with two persons in my life who suffered from this disorder and I can tell you from direct experience that it never ends well. The NPD never does anything ultimately for others. They only ever do anything with the goal of personal enrichment or personal aggrandisement in view.
If someone else benefits from the narcissist’s actions then that is pure luck. Unless (and herein is the biggest problem of all) the kind of narcissism they have is the malignant kind. In that case there can only ever be one winner. And that winner has to be the narcissist himself.
Donald Trump is a malignant narcissist. He hates seeing other people do well. He’s only happy when he wins. He literally is a zero sum gamesman. He doesn’t even like it when people on his team also come out ahead. People on his team can go ahead and die as far as Trump is concerned. The thing, the only thing that matters, is Trump wins. That’s it. Anyone else winning is a direct threat to himself.
Think about it yourself. Trump survived coronavirus. That was good enough for him. But Trump’s “friend” (narcissists don’t have real friends) Herman Cain died of coronavirus. In fact, Cain probably got infected at Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Trump couldn’t care less. He made absolutely no effort to make his rallies any safer after Herman Cain died. They remain super spreader events to this day, and it’s estimated that Trump’s rallies have infected tens of thousands of people and caused hundreds of deaths already. Again, Trump couldn’t care less.
Trump probably doesn’t even think in terms of all those deaths being worth it in exchange for his self-aggrandising vision his re-election will bring. He simply gives them no thought at all because they have no bearing on him and his greatness. He certainly can’t be bothered to regret the people he’s killed and the lives of the loved ones he’s destroyed. That’s just not in his playbook at all. That would take self-reflection and Trump doesn’t self reflect. He just needs, and that need must be fed more and more and more and more.
America is very lucky (so far) that Donald Trump hasn’t embroiled her in a situation that escalated into nuclear conflict. Because if he did, Trump would make his calculations not about the best way to keep the world safe, but about what outcome would make him look the most powerful and heroic. Outcomes that include millions of deaths may be among his options if he thinks it will make him look like a hero. If millions die because of his actions he won’t waste a single thought on them. They’d be annoying statistics some member of the “fake news media” would bring up from time to time, until he accused them of being criminals for even mentioning it.
This is why Trump ignores coronavirus. He’s already calculated that a few hundred thousand dead Americans are perfectly okay with him, as long as he looks strong to enough stupid people to keep him in power. Again, it’s all about him, because that’s all it can ever be. All about him. That’s how the malignant narcissist works. Do you really want someone like him in power for four more years?
This is a time when voting for anybody else is actually better than voting for Donald Trump. If your next door neighbor was the candidate, or the guy who collects shopping carts in the parking lot at your local supermarket, or your dog, were the only alternatives on the ballot, they’d be better choices than Trump.
I think the alternative, Joe Biden, is a pretty good choice. But even if you don’t, I guarantee you he’s a better choice than Trump. Because everybody is. So please, Undecided Voter, do the right thing. Vote Biden and Harris. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe and vote.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.